Monday, October 24, 2011

A New Name

"In shedding names like "Nakusa" or "Nakushi," which mean "unwanted" in Hindi, some girls chose to name themselves after Bollywood stars such as "Aishwarya" or Hindu goddesses like "Savitri." Some just wanted traditional names with happier meanings, such as "Vaishali," or "prosperous, beautiful and good."

-Hundreds of Indian Girls named "Unwanted" Choose New Names, Fox News Article

I found a link to this article on a friend's Facebook page.  It's been haunting me ever since, especially after reading about the effects of gender discrimination in India.  I can't imagine calling my baby girl "unwanted".  Both my husband and I were ecstatic at her birth...he even wanted a girl.  I am so happy that this district of India is letting these girls choose names for themselves.

In this story, I see a much bigger one.

How many of us have labeled ourselves (or have been labeled) "unwanted" or "failure" or "not enough", especially us women?  I think stories like this show Satan's focused, terrible desire to undermine women.  We are meant to be beautiful life-givers.  In the book Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge, the authors suggest that God created Eve last to showcase her as the crowning jewel of creation.

I don't know about you, but I don't often feel like a jewel.  Too often, I listen to those previous names that Satan plants in my head through my own thoughts or perceptions.  But that is not how Christ thinks of me.

In our battle against Satan and his lies, we need to make these Indian girls our inspiration.  Instead of calling ourselves "unwanted", how about "chosen" (John 15:16), or "complete" (Col. 2:9-10), or "free" (Romans 8:31-39)?  Why don't we proclaim these names that Christ has bestowed on us as His beloved children?

You, my friends, are more than your labels or names.  Trust Christ.  Turn to Him for your identity.  Put on that new name.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wifey Wednesday: Stupendous!

Instead of the normally scheduled program (I write about a book/article that pertains to marriage and specifically challenge wives), I want to again recommend The Stupendous Marriage website, especially the most recent podcast of the Stupendous Marriage Show (episode 16).  There's some great advice on getting fit as a couple and a segment specifically geared towards wives and sex.  Both are fun to listen to but also convicting...definitely things I know I need to be thinking/praying about in my marriage.  Check out the site and be challenged!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

This Weekend's Musing

"On that day, when evening had come, he (Jesus) said to them, "Let us go across to the other side."  And leaving the crowd behind, they (the disciples) took him with them in the boat, just as he was.  Other boats were with him.  A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped.  But he was in the stern, asleep on a cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?"  He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace!  Be still!"  The the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm.  He said to them, "Why are you afraid?  Have you still no faith?"  And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?"
-Mark 4:35-41

Friday, October 14, 2011

Library picks

 "Why do we remember faces but not names?"
-Joseph T. Hallinan, Why We Make Mistakes, back cover

I thought it would be fun to let you know what I picked up from the library this'll be a nice little change of pace.  I hope to blog from some of these things, but even if I don't the titles and/or descriptions might catch your eye and you could check out the books yourself.

Mommy's Pick:  

Why We Make Mistakes: How We Look Without Seeing, Forget Things in Seconds, and are All Pretty Sure We are Way Above Average, by Joseph T. Hallinan.  I was honestly looking for Bill Bryson's At Home, but someone still has it checked I perused the aisle until I stumbled upon this one.  It was shelved near some of Malcom Gladwell's books, so it can't be too bad.  I think it'll remind me of a Radio Lab episode with it's emphasis on science and human behavior.  I'm hoping to write a post on this one...or at least be a better conversationalist.

The Daughter's Picks (ok...I really pick them at this point.  But I think she'll enjoy them anyway):

Curious George: Parade Day.  Who doesn't love Curious George?  I actually said, "Daddy will like this one," out loud when I picked it up.

Say Goodnight by Helen Oxenbury.  I really enjoy the illustrations of babies in her books...they are so cute.  Simple, short, sweet with lots of pictures for Daughter to look at.  Win.

I hope everyone has a great weekend with at least one good read!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wifey Wednesday: Go the Distance

"In every happy marriage, even when you are getting along with your husband well, you will inevitably experience Seasons of Distance, when you go through a few weeks or months where you don't connect well....the key is to make sure that seasons of distance don't also become seasons of carelessness."
-Shelia Wray Gregoire, Why Affairs Happen (Hint: There's not Always a Reason)

Shelia's blog post couldn't be more timely.  Hubs and I are entering what Gregoire calls a "Season of Distance" (and no, I am not worried about an affair.  I'm taking a different spin on her post).  This week is the fund raising week for his ministry, which is coupled with rehearsals every evening for the upcoming musical production.  Needless to say, we haven't seen much of each other this week.  I miss him.  I am kind of glad he forgot that he had to be at rehearsal last night and we got to eat together at an unhurried pace before one of his co-workers called to ask him if he was coming!

I am very grateful that in this season my husband and I both remember to reach out to each other in the midst of busyness.  He comes home for dinner for an hour on rehearsal evenings so we can talk about our day and spend time together.  He could be working instead.  He welcomes us when we come to visit him at work during the fund raiser and will often take time to eat with us.  I am also trying to do my part to stay connected to him too.  I'll ask him how his day is going over Google chat.  I try to have dinner ready right when he comes home so he can eat and talk with us instead of hurrying.  Tonight I will get all of his staff shirts ready for the fund raiser.

It's little things like this that help us go the distance during busy times.  The busyness won't be over after this week as rehearsals pick up for the musical and the holidays approach, so I am happy we are developing habits of caring for each other now.  I'd encourage you to do the same if you feel distant from your husband.  Let him know that you care in a small or big way.  It'll make all the difference in this season and help you build lifelong habits of building intimacy in your marriage!

Friday, October 7, 2011

This Weekend's Musing

"We desperately need the word “sin” in our vocabulary.  When a famous politician or athlete sins the mea culpa is almost always in the language of “I’m sorry to have disappointed so many people.”  Or, “I regret my error in judgment.”  Or, “I admit this has been a struggle for me and I am seeking help.”  Rarely, does anyone say “I sinned.  I’m sorry.  Please forgive me.”  Even as Christians we find ways to avoid the word sin.  We will speak of our imperfections, our flaws, our inadequacies, our dysfunctions, our weaknesses, our insecurities, and our growth edges.  But how often do we call sin “sin”?"
-Kevin DeYoung, The Villian with A Thousand Faces

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Goodbye, Steve Jobs

"Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked."
-Steve Jobs, 2005 Stanford University Commencement Address

"Holy crap....Holy crap!"

My husband made these exclamations last night and naturally I wanted to know what was going on.  After asking him twice, I caught a look at the computer screen from my post at the kitchen sink to see "Steve Jobs Dead" emblazoned in red across the front page of The Drudge Report.

I was shocked.  Hubs was shocked...and immediately tried to find more information.  Even this morning he is still a little emotional about it.  Before he left for work, he said to me, "I'm still feeling sad about Steve.  I guess I'm just thinking about how short life is, even if you are rich and powerful."

I had a hard time understanding why it affected him so deeply until I started thinking about it a bit more.  Without Steve, I'm pretty sure my husband wouldn't have a job.  As a media producer he uses Apple products all the time.  As a tech buff, he has his ipod touch in front of his face constantly, listening to his favorite podcasts and finding deals on Fat WalletHubs feels a connection to Steve as one who has supplied many of his tools of his trade and recreation.

I respect that.  I thank Steve Jobs for moving forward in ingeniously creative ways in the face of death instead of shrinking back in fear.  I thank him for inadvertently feeding my family.  And I thank him, even in death, of reminding my husband of what is truly important.  We have nothing to lose...we all die.  So move forward and live your life to the fullest, using your God-given talents for His glory.  

My prayers go out to Jobs' family, friends and coworkers.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wifey Wednesday: Bragging Rights

"A Trophy Wife brags on her husband whenever she can to whoever will listen. She wants everyone to know that she made the best decision ever when it came to picking a partner.  They might have problems or issues, but that’s not what she talks about with those outside their inner sanctum."
-Marie McKinney Oates, 5 Steps to Trophy  Wife: Be a Wife He Brags About

This little tidbit is from an ebook Marie McKinney Oates, founder of The Nashville Marriage Studio, sent to me a while ago.  It's a great little book with lots of good tips on how to be a wife any husband would be proud of.  This is the last step in the book and a very good one.

It is so easy to pick out the flaws in our husbands, isn't it?  It's so easy to bring those things up to our girlfriends and relatives.  I think a lot of women assume that men can "take" criticism.  Unfortunately, that's not true.  Men have those nasty little voices inside of their heads too...Oates calls it "The Lizard Brain".  That little voice tells him he is never good enough, smart enough, etc. etc. etc!  Our complaints and criticisms (especially in public!) only serve to validate those voices. 

So how can we move from complaining to boasting about our men?  The most important step is to change the way we are thinking about him.  We need to have some empathy and remember that he has that "Lizard Brain" inside of him too.  Maybe he is trying to figure out a problem at work, or needs some time to relax and that is why he left his socks on the floor...not because he doesn't care about having a nice house.  Maybe he's quiet at the dinner table because he is afraid any subject he brings up will bring a criticism from you.  Instead of assuming the worst, let's assume the best about our men.  When we start to do that in the privacy of our heads, it becomes a lot easier to brag about him in public.

So go ahead...take those first steps.  Take it a bit further and notice one thing about your hubby that you can brag about to someone else today.  And make sure he overhears you talking him up on the phone or sees your glowing status about him on Facebook or Twitter.  It'll mean the world to him.  I'd love to know the end results!

On that note: Bragging Rights time!  My husband just finished producing, shooting and editing a series of videos interviewing the on air personalities at his workplace.  Here's the first one....keep checking them out the rest of this week!  He's so talented, yes?